With all that was going on, and the feelings that I have been processing through, I felt God asking me to work this one up. Part of this comes from a conversation at Celebrate Recovery (no details, just that we were talking about making amends and forgiveness, a couple of the chapters cover these) and part from some videos that I own.
We started off with an object lesson that included the students to take an Alka-Seltzer tablet in their mouth and then put 7up in there and try to hold it for as long as possible. Anger is like that isn’t it? It cause us foam at the mouth or we try to hold it in. When we do let it out we create a mess and it leaves a bad taste in our mouthes. Paul said in Ephesians, “In your anger, do not sin.” (remember that sin is separation from God).
What are we looking for?
We want to be free, healthy, and whole. We don’t want what somebody else did to you to determine your life.
So how do we react when somebody does something to us?
Revenge becomes our only hope, so we really aren’t free. Revenge is saying to God, “I don’t trust you to take care of this the way I want it to end.” However, revenge doesn’t satisfy.
So Forgiveness is the answer. The Cross is God’s sign of forgiveness to us. So let’s see how Jesus deals this.
Here Jesus – gets angry
– identifies with an injustice and not a selfish desire
– anger leads to an act of healing
Anger is the body’s reaction to your will being blocked.
People’s anger usually has nothing to with the person to whom it is vented.
The problem isn’t anger, but what we do with it.
What does your anger do?
Jesus in the “Sermon on the Mount.”- Matthew 5:38-41
Jesus quotes from Leviticus about an eye for an eye. Here’s a little background on that passage: There was so much revenge in Genesis to Exodus. Anyone who sinned against Cain would get back 7 times (Genesis 4:15) and later Lamech talks about being avenged seventy time seven (Genesis 4:23-24). So revenge had an escalating quality. You do something to me and I’ll do something worse. This went on until Moses when he limited what could be done. Don’t do more than was done to you. Now Jesus says to let God handle it and love the wrong doer.
So channel anger into healing.
So Paul talks about this many times. Here are a few: Ephesians 4:26-27, 31-32 and Romans 12:16-21 (and Paul quotes Proverbs 25:21-22).
In Celebrate Recovery, we learn to do an inventory of our hurts, habits, and hang ups. We search for where our anger comes from. Do you have the courage to search where your anger comes from? Do you want to be free?
There will always be things to complain about. People will always need your help.
Which will you choose? Being a slave to anger? or the freedom to heal?